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Man pleads guilty to murdering deputy, Kinston resident

By WCTI Staff
Published On: Aug 06 2014 11:17:35 AM CDT
Updated On: Aug 05 2014 11:19:23 AM CDT
LENOIR COUNTY -

One day after pleading guilty in federal court to killing a deputy U.S. marshal, a Lenoir County man has pleaded guilty in state court to two counts of murder.

Lamont Deshawn Byrd, 21, pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to murdering both Warren Basco "Sneak" Lewis and Kinston resident Thomas Terrell Hinton in June 2011.

Lewis-- a deputy U.S. marshal who was also a deputy with the Nash County Sheriff's Office-- was working to arrest Byrd for Hinton's murder when Lewis was shot and killed, investigators said.

In addition to the two guilty pleas of first-degree murder Tuesday morning, Byrd also pleaded guilty to malicious conduct by a prisoner for throwing a cup of urine on a female guard at the Lenoir County Jail.

Byrd was told in court he will serve life in prison without parole, plus an additional 88 months for the malicious conduct charge.

Byrd had previously pleaded guilty in federal court in Raleigh Monday to one count of first-degree murder of an officer of the United States. Byrd's sentencing for the federal charge is scheduled for Nov. 3. He faces a life-term of imprisonment followed by up to five years of supervised release.

BACKGROUND ON THE MURDERS:

According to investigators, Byrd, Kion Tyearl Dail and two other juveniles shot the 31-year-old Hinton in the chest on June 2, 2011 in Kinston, killing the victim. The suspects then allegedly stole the victim's bicycle.

On June 9, 2011, Kinston officers and U.S. marshals searched a residence on West Lenoir Avenue to find the suspects. The upstairs apartment at the home was empty, but two shotguns were located. Laboratory testing revealed that Byrd had possessed the weapons, investigators said.

Later that day, law enforcement officers went back to the residence to search an apartment that was downstairs. But as Deputy U.S. Marshal Lewis was coming down the stairs, Byrd shot three times through the closed door, hitting Lewis all three times, investigators said.

After realizing he had shot an officer, Byrd was heard saying, "See what you made me do?," investigators recalled. Byrd then handed the weapon to another individual to hide, authorities said.

The suspects came out after a 20-minute standoff, said investigators. The weapon used to shoot Lewis, a Berretta .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol, was found in a banker's box in a closet and had Byrd's DNA on it, according to authorities. The gun had been stolen from a residence three weeks prior.

Lewis was taken to a hospital, where he died from his injuries. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.